The Effect of Children on Parents, Second Edition


Recognize the hidden costs and rewards of childrearing!

The Effect of Children on Parents, Second Edition, thoughtfully explores the interactions by which parents and children change, develop, and sometimes affect each other negatively. Everyone knows that parents influence their children, but few people consider the ways in which children affect their parents. The love, satisfaction, and fulfillment children offer can change parents’lives. So ...

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The Effect of Children on Parents, Second Edition

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Recognize the hidden costs and rewards of childrearing!

The Effect of Children on Parents, Second Edition, thoughtfully explores the interactions by which parents and children change, develop, and sometimes affect each other negatively. Everyone knows that parents influence their children, but few people consider the ways in which children affect their parents. The love, satisfaction, and fulfillment children offer can change parents’lives. So can the stress, worry, and financial drain.

The Effect of Children on Parents, Second Edition, honestly confronts these long-neglected issues of family dynamics. Taking a unique interdisciplinary approach, this book describes in great detail, with jargon-free language the various aspects of children's effects on their parents. This second edition contains an abundance of fresh information, including nine entirely new chapters that deal with such complex topics as the effects on parents of children with emotional, behavioral, and delinquency problems.

The Effect of Children on Parents, Second Edition, asks and answers essential questions on the parent-child dynamic, including:

  • what role does genetic inheritance play in children's responses to their parents?
  • how do peers influence children and through them, their parents?
  • what happens to parents when children are difficult or have emotional problems?
  • what special considerations apply to minority or adoptive parents?
  • how do adult childrem affect their aging parents?
  • how does society support or undermine parents?
  • what roadblocks prevent parents from being as effective as they would like to be?
The Effect of Children on Parents, Second Edition, takes a brave look at this often ignored area of family dynamics, giving a richer, more complex, and ultimately more healing view of how humans interact in families. Professors, students, and experts in the fields of child development, family studies, and sociology of childhood and family will find this book a sophisticated tool in their desire to better understand and help families and children.
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Editorial Reviews

Shirley McGuire
This is a timely, interesting, and thought-provoking book about the effects children have from conception to adulthood on their parents. Parents as well as professionals, should read it, especially those who have children with emotional or behavioral problems. The author, associate professor of sociology at York University, Toronto, Ontario, reviews issues typically investigated in the fields of child development and family studies, such as daycare, home and work spillover, maternal depression, and marital relationships. She also covers topics not found in the literature of those fields, such as the loss of personal freedom, the cost of housing, the impact of a child's delinquent peer group, and the strain of abuse by an aggressive child. Parents will find this book the most useful and, perhaps, comforting.
Journal of American Medical Association
Effectively rewriting to account for the massive research findings that have become available in the nine years since the first edition, Ambert (sociology, York U., Toronto) draws primarily from her own discipline and psychology to explore the impact children have on their parents within the global social contexts in which families are situated, parental roles are defined, and children are socially constructed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Child Effect: What Is This? An Introduction
  • The Social Construction of Parents
  • Organization of the Book
  • Chapter 2. The Neglected Perspective: Children's Effect on Parents
  • Failures of Traditional Perspectives
  • Childhood Is Only One of the Stages in the Life Course
  • Parenting: One Important Influence Among Others
  • The Emergence of Interactional Theories
  • Children and Parents in Historical Perspective
  • The Culmination of Historical Changes
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 3. Determinants of Child Effect on Parents
  • Child Characteristics
  • Parental Characteristics
  • Characteristics of the Societal Response
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 4. Areas of Parents' Lives
  • Maternal Health
  • Place/Space/Activities
  • Parental Employment
  • Financial/Economic Aspects
  • Marital and Familial Relations
  • Human Interaction
  • Community
  • Parental Personality
  • Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs
  • Life Plans
  • Feelings of Control Over One's Life
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 5. Children with Behavioral and Emotional Problems
  • What Are Behavioral Problems?
  • What Causes Behavioral Problems?
  • The Effect on Mothers
  • Children with Emotional Problems
  • Effects on the Parent-Child Relationship
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 6. Adolescents, Parents, and Delinquency
  • Overview
  • Effects of Delinquency on Parents
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 7. The Effects of Children's Peers on Parents
  • Peer Pressure and Support
  • Peer Abuse
  • The Effect of Peers on Parents
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 8. Professionals and Parents
  • Professional Authority Over Parents
  • The “Schizophrenogenic” Mother
  • Parent Blaming
  • The Merit of Therapeutic Interventions
  • Parent Effectiveness Training
  • Researching Parents and Children
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 9. The Effect of Adult Children on Parents
  • What Adult Children Do for Their Parents
  • Gender of Children and Parents
  • What Parents Do For Their Adult Children
  • Grandmothers As Child Caretakers
  • Grandmothers As Mother Substitutes
  • Abuse of Elderly Parents
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 10. Immigrant and Minority Parents
  • What Happens to Children?
  • Intergenerational Conflict
  • Intergenerational Continuity
  • Specific Examples of Continuity and Discontinuity
  • African-American Parents: The Effect of a Negative Environment
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 11. Adoptive Parents
  • How Is Adoption Socially Defined?
  • The Professional Representation of Adoptive Children
  • Transracial Adoption
  • Stepchild Adoption
  • Open Adoption
  • Consequences of Reunions
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 12. Let's Not Forget About Genes!
  • How Genetic Inheritance Works
  • How Do Genes Interact with Environment?
  • Do Genes Mean That Parenting is Useless?
  • Limitations to Parental Influence
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 13. Conclusions: What is Wrong with Parenting Today?
  • Cultural and Social Roadblocks to Effective Parenting
  • Strengthening Parental Influence
  • Parental Gratification: Why Not?
  • To Conclude
  • Bibliography
  • Author Index
  • Subject Index
  • Reference Notes Included
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